Toyota Harrier Is the UN-Americanised Lexus

There is a thin line between a Toyota Harrier and a Lexus RX and indeed, the Lexus was initially just rebadged as a Harrier for Japan’s market and has since been a great bestseller the world over.

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in 1989 in the USA, Lexus is now sold globally and has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars. The Toyota Harrier is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and has been on sale since 1997, in which time two generations have left the assembly lines.

The first generation Harriers came off the production lines in 19978 and in December 2000 is when it was made available in the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Two types of engines were designed for that particular Harrier. There was the 2.2L which produced 140 horsepower and, later, the 3.0L with a V6 engine, that produced 220 horsepower. Using four-speed automatic transmission, they both greatly sold, most especially in Japan.

Because of the Harrier’s high demand in Japan, Toyota was compelled to come out with a newer, up-to-date model between 2000 and 2003 that was given a facelift and sporting Altezza lights, a new innovation on the market. This mostly happened in the year 2001. The Harrier was given more options, including an internal navigation system, leather seats, sunroof and cruise control.

The second-generation Harrier was also introduced in the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, most mechanical specifications remaining the same. The only differences were with the 3.0L, V6 engine and the newer five-speed automatic transmission, another big option being the air suspensions, although this is more common with the 3.0L version.

In February 2005, Toyota introduced yet another version known as the Harrier Hybrid with a 3.3L, V6 engine. This greatly improved the fuel economy and also produced lower carbondioxide emissions, yet outputted more power. It also came with a back up camera, rain-sensing wipers as well as eight air bags!

One year later (2006), the Harrier received a 3.5L, V6 engine which was for all models. The navigation systems were improved with enhanced graphics and voice controls. The snag with the voice control function, however, is that you first have to learn how to speak Japanese to work it, as it is only programmed to respond in that language!

Alas, due to the production of the third-generation Lexus RX, production of this particular Toyota Harrier has since ceased due to the greater popularity of Lexus, which has seen its sales rise rapidly. The majority of the updates are happening at the front of the vehicle whereby new grille, headlights and bumper designs are evident.


Engine: 3.0V624V.

Doors: 5.

Power: 220 Hp.

Maximum speed: 180 kmh.

Acceleration from standstill to 100 kmh: 8.5 sec.

Fuel tank volume: 65L.

Seats: 5.

Maximum amount of Luggage (trunk): 2,130L.

Fuel System: Multi-point injection.

Valvetrain: DOHC.

Position of cylinders: V engine.

Number of cylinders: 6.

Number of valves per cylinder: 4.

Fuel Type: Petrol.

Wheel Drive: Front.

Number of Gears (automatic transmission): 4.

ABS: Yes.

Fuel consumption (economy): – urban 12.4L 100 km. Extra urban 9.8L100 km.

Source : The Observer

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